The 7 Best Universities in France Part 2 According to Students
Posted on 02/07/2019

Here it is – part 2 of yesterday’s article. Keep on discovering with EDUopinions the 7 best universities in France.

EDUopinions is a unique platform where you can read real, verified student reviews about universities from all over the world as well as get free information about them.

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Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne – 4.1 stars, 16 Reviews

According to students, Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne is the place to go for social sciences and the arts. In fact, one EDUopinions commenter believes the university is ‘one of the best’ in France for social sciences. It is little surprise that the university leans towards the arts. Famous former students include philosophers and writers Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre.

Positive Reviews

The standard of teaching at the Sorbonne is praised several times in its EDUopinions comment section. Subjects such as Law and Economics are also offered at the institute. The teachers are described by one commenter as ‘gifted, experienced, and passionate.’

Another positive mentioned more than once is the symbolic nature of the university. EDUopinions commenters describe the exterior look of the college as ‘a symbol of Paris’ and ‘like a picture postcard incarnation of a Parisian university.’ Paris I’s campus fits right into the city’s beautiful Latin Quarter. It looks as tourist-worthy as the nearby Luxembourg Gardens and Panthéon.

Further compliments on Université Paris I include how students inspire each other. Also, the small numbers in masters classes.

Some Downsides

As can be seen in some of its EDUopinions comments, La Sorbonne is not totally without its faults. The most common area for improvement seems to be the ‘old-school’ style of teaching. Some of the teachers still use chalk and blackboards during their lectures. There is no support material for the class online. Some students also note how student participation in class was not encouraged.

However, there is something to be said for class notes not being made available online. As many college students know, attendance at classes and lectures can often be shockingly low, with lots of students skipping class in favour of catching up online when they need to. This non-attendance and then severe cramming creates a sometimes unbearable workload for students.

As a side note, the necessity to attend class in person is positive for students when it comes to socialising. It is healthy for them to get out and meet people with which they have things in common.

Comments have also been made about the Sorbonne’s old-school interior. As one reviewer says, the state of some buildings and classrooms can ‘tarnish (the university’s) reputation.’ Another adds that ‘rooms and corridors’ beyond the ‘impressive main parts of the university’ ‘are quite run down.’

Finally, two other minor criticisms about the university are from the same student commenter. They are about the Tolbiac Centre. This is a part of the university located in Paris’ 13th arrondissement.

Firstly, they comment on their surprise at discovering they would not be studying in the the Latin Quarter. They consider the 13th arrondissement to be ‘not as charming.’

Secondly, this student states how student protests are common at the Tolbiac Centre. They can cause so much disruption and ‘block (access) for a few days, week, or even a month.’

2017-08-14 13:17:00
Anonymous student
Passionate classes despite somewhat old-school teaching style

I did my masters degree at Sorbonne University and was lucky that there were only around 20-40 students per course. The majority of professors are excellent in their field and provide passionate classes. I only regret that the teaching style is rather old-school in most classes with professors giving lectures with not many possibilities to participate. I would have preferred to get some documentation other than my own notes in class, as you only concentrate on taking a maximum of notes, but you can’t really pay attention to the content of the lecture itself. Moreover, the equipment of the university is pretty rudimentary in terms of projecting presentations etc. However, I really enjoyed studying at Sorbonne and the quality of the classes definitely made up for the downsides.

Degree: Master's
Overall

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Paris I offers a wide range of scholarships for international students. Discover the full list of conditions required, etc.

Paris School of Business (PSB) – 3.7 stars, 6 Reviews

Paris School of Business, according to its students, is an impressive institute. It is adept in preparing for the modern business world those who attend. It is located in Paris’ 13th arrondissement and easily accessible by transport.

Most Popular Positives

The most frequently mentioned positive has to be its Campus Cluster. According to PSB students, ‘[is an] incredible platform where you could meet people – be it students or professors – from all over the world.’ And ‘facilitates exchanges between students.’ In such a massive city like Paris, the Campus Cluster idea must be a lifesaver for PSB attendees.

Coming a close second is PSB’s international diversity on campus. PSB is a very cosmopolitan a campus. Students talk about the ‘vibrancy’ among the student community.

Praise of PSB’s teaching must also be discussed. One commenter states the teachers transmit ‘not only […] theoretical knowledge’ but also ‘practical examples and key advice and directions that I believe surely make a difference when we enter the professional world.’

This is a critical plus to note about PSB, as it may only be when you are out in the ‘real world’ and in employment that you may come to realise how well your education prepared you for life as a graduate.

Other pros mentioned include the option to complete a two-year masters in a work-study company, and the year abroad in the third year.

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PSB Cons

First on the ‘cons list’ is the administration and organisation. Many comments on mention disappointment in the system at the school. Comments range from this element being ‘not very good’ to there being a ‘problem of communication between pupils and administration.’ However, there is also a comment stating that the school is ‘actively working’ on this issue.

Something to be aware of is that at the Grande École at PSB, you agree directly to a masters qualification without it explicitly mentioned in the beginning. Perhaps there is a share of the blame here. There is likely an assumption by the student as well as the use of unclear language or descriptions by PSB.

2017-07-28 09:40:43
Marie-Emmanuelle
Studying in PSB

PSB is a very interesting place to be. Campus Cluster Innovation is an incredible platform where you could meet people – be it students or professors – from all over the world. Diversity and vibrancy are, I think, good adjectives to qualify the student community.
Looking at the “real thing” in terms of education, PSB is a school I would strongly recommend. The courses are interesting and demanding. The professors provide a very useful coaching, providing us not only with theoretical knowledge but with practical examples and key advice and directions that I believe surely make a difference when we enter the professional world.
Just like in all things and places, the school certainly has its flaws. If there is any “not too good” aspect to be mentioned about PSB, the problem of organisation that the administration has will be the first and biggest. Fortunately enough, it is a point on which they (the administration) are actively working and on which we are expecting great improvement for the next academic year.

Overall

Scholarships and Financial Aid

The school’s explanation of scholarships is that ‘PSB Paris School of Business is a private, non-government-subsidised higher education institution.’ And ‘the scholarship/grant opportunities available to students enrolled at public institutions are limited.’ The school does offer some scholarships to PSB embarking on a study abroad programme. Learn more about this.

Montpellier Business School (MBS) – 4.6 stars, 7 Reviews

Montpellier Business School is located in Southern France. Here is a look at the complimentary things students have to say about MBS.

Postitives

One of the most frequently mentioned positives about the school is its teachers. Students find their teachers ‘well trained’, ‘well qualified’, and helpful.

Another common compliment is the diversity on campus. Students tell us of the high number of exchange students at the institute. They also mention how good a college MBS is in which to be an exchange student.

MBS students on EDUopinions also add that at the school you do not learn solely academic material, but also cultural. There is even mention of a French Culture teacher. The emphasis and importance MBS places on culture is evident. This is seen both in their promotion of French culture and the cultures of visiting exchange students.

Leading on from this point, students also tell us of the organised activities for exchange students ‘almost every week.’ This is certainly a great help to students who are away from home.

We also see that there are events held for student integration in general. Universities really are a community, and MBS definitely seems to care a great deal that their community functions happily together.

Other MBS positives according to its students include the ‘wide variety’ of programmes of study available and the school’s facilities.

2017-10-16 11:58:45
Anonymous student
GREAT UNIVERSITY FOR EXCHANGE STUDENTS

I am currently an exchange student studying at Montpellier Business School. I find this university great for exchange students since there is a lot of diversity. This way you meet people from all over the world; you do not just learn academic stuff but you also cultural.
The infrastructures of the university are quite good, especially the cafeteria and the fact that there are plugs everywhere.
Another important fact is that this business school is ranked in the top 12 around France.

Overall

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Montpellier Business School provides information on various scholarships, financial aid programmes, and ways in which you can fund your studies. Read more about the scholarships available at MBS.

IÉSEG École de Commerce – 4.7 stars, 9 Reviews

Read the EDUopinions comments on the IÉSEG École de Commerce (located in both Paris and Lille) and you are sure to be impressed. Reviews describe many aspects of life as an IÉSEG student.

Lille Campus

One positive which repeatedly appears is the location. More so their Lille location in Northern France. Students rave about how Lille is a perfect city for students. One commenter even says that ‘student life in Lille is, in my opinion, the best in France.’ Lille is also very diverse with the presence of many international students.

Paris Campus

IÉSEG’s Paris campus is also impressive. It is located underground at the Parisian financial district of La Défense. The IÉSEG campus there is, according to one same commenter, ‘very high-tech.’ Paris is a beautiful city in many ways, but perhaps Lille is the perfect fit specifically for students.

More Positives

The administration and organisation is also frequently commented on. These elements seem to be a common fault of many universities and institutes, yet IÉSEG students state how impressed they are with how the university is run.

One student writes how ‘the assistance for administrative procedures is very helpful.’

Furthermore, the internationality and diversity at IÉSEG is another plus for students. In fact, it is mentioned in nearly every one of the university’s EDUopinions comments.

This international environment is fortunately not confined solely to the student population. One reviewer describes how much his English has improved. This is thanks to his teachers.

Whether it is for making new friends from different countries or for educational reasons, the internationality seems to be one of the most important aspects at IÉSEG.

There are also IÉSEG students who comment on the warm welcome they received at the school. One student mentions ‘an entire integration programme for new students’. This element no doubt makes a difference to how students experience their time at IÉSEG.

A final significant positive point is IÉSEG’s aid to students in preparing them for their professional life. The university also helps students with their careers even after graduating. This most definitely sets IÉSEG apart from the crowd.

Other IÉSEG praise comes in the form of comments on the high number of electives available to choose from and the teaching methods used.

Is There Room for Improvement?

IÉSEG still has some slight room for improvement. Two reviews refer to the limited number of places for students in many elective options. However, IÉSEG is working on this issue and has set up some online subjects as a result.

Another factor with which IÉSEG students are not satisfied is the student associations. Students find it ‘hard’ to get into an association. They also find them ‘inaccessible,’ and claim there is little information available about recruitment processes.

2017-10-08 22:46:42
Anaïs Antonina
Anaïs Antonina
My IÉSEG experience

As an international student, I only keep great memories of my stay at IÉSEG.
First, the welcome was warm. There is an entire integration program for new students. The assistance for administrative procedures is very helpful.
Then, I’ve really appreciated the teaching methods and the working environment. I followed the Grande École Program. The possibility to choose your courses while some are compulsory allows you to follow your academic expectations and learn about Management’s different aspects. The international dimension of the school favors social diversity. I learned a lot from working with others. The rooms are always available for personal and group work.
Finally, IÉSEG is an excellent professional advisor through courses to improve CV, interview and professional skills, corporate events, IÉSEG network, forums and recruitment sessions. The school has a good contact with companies.
The only think I didn’t appreciate was the fact that school associations seemed inaccessible. I heard about many interesting associations at my arrival, but had information of the recruitment process of very few of them during my stay.
However, I really recommend IÉSEG School of Management.

Overall

Scholarships and Financial Aid

IÉSEG offers different types of scholarships and financial aid. These cover various amounts. Scholarships are available to French, EU, and other foreign students. Get more information on financial aid and awards offered by IÉSEG.

Conclusion

When choosing a university, students must be well informed and take this responsibility upon themselves. Always remember what you are looking for out of your studies both personally and academically. While one experience may suit someone else, it may not suit you at all. Use all the resources available to make such a decision. Make sure it is a decision made for you and you only. Good luck!

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Written by
Ciara
Ciara is currently working as Content Manager for EDUopinions after returning from Paris; where she lived for a few months while teaching English. She is from Cork, in Ireland.
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